Emergent parties make major gains down under
The big story of the night was the impact of minor parties, led by the Palmer United Party claiming 5.67 per cent of the national primary vote and a double digit primary figure in Queensland.
This will have important ramifications for Prime Minister-elect Abbott in the new Senate. Calculations on Saturday night suggested an unwieldy phalanx of minor party senators coming in to the upper house in 2014 and the possibility that Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos – seen as a crucial force in the new government – may not be elected.
Australia has a parliamentary system, so it is easier for emergent parties to emerge than under our system. Even so, this is encouraging. It should also be kept in mind that the law requires you to vote in Australia, so you don't have the problem of motivating discouraged voters to vote.